Northlane’s most chilling performance: ‘I was sucked down into the space behind the stage’ | Australian music

lIt was late 2012, early days for Northlane, and the second time we went to New Zealand. We had a series of shows around the North Island, and December 1st was our last show, at Zeal in Wellington. With an eight or nine hour drive to the airport the next morning and a very early flight, we decided to give up our headline slot and open the show. So the whole lineup was pretty much turned upside down and there were only about 30 people in the audience when we moved on.

So it was comical to begin with. We were fully booked for the headline, then we asked to open, and the booking agent said, “Oh…OK.” It was all a bit of an anticlimax. That was before I fell off the stage.

Northlane: (L-R) Jon Deiley, Marcus Bridge, Josh Smith and Nic Pettersen.

There was a stage with a pretty big drum riser on the back, with a six foot drop to the floor, and behind the stage was about a foot away from the back wall of the venue. About halfway through the set, I flinched, not the pointer, and one of the legs of my drum throne slipped off the back of the riser. The throne has three legs, one of them was facing back, and they have a small rubber foot on each leg.

I felt the rubber foot slip off, and in that moment I was like, oh boy. Once I felt the drop of the foot, there was absolutely nothing I could do. I couldn’t grip the drums, there was nothing that would have stopped me, there was a gravity and I was sucked down into the space behind the stage. It all happened so quickly. I kind of remember feeling like I was folded in half.

Sydney metalcore band Northlane.  L -R Jon Deiley, Marcus Bridge, Nic Pettersen, Alex Milovic, Josh Smith photo was taken at: Electric Brixton, London on December 1, 2019.
Drummer Nic Pettersen will perform with Northlane in London in 2019.

I had my in-ear monitors hooked up to this rack unit, and it was pulled on top of me as well. The rest of the band turned around, because suddenly I stopped playing; I was nowhere to be seen. I was curled up behind this stage with a nightstand-sized in-ear rack on top of me. They helped to get the equipment off me. Everyone in the room laughed. I stumbled back on stage and we started the song all over again.

I had big scratches on my back from sliding down the back wall, but otherwise I was fine. I really think the back wall saved me, because if I hadn’t hit it first, I probably would have hit my head on the floor, and I wouldn’t have laughed with everyone else. But I only had cuts and bruises. It was one of those comedic scenarios, but it could have been worse. I’m glad I survived to tell the story.

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